NEW JERSEY -- If you are thinking of staying in New Jersey after your working days are over, you might want to think again. Many people consider relocating to a state that lets you keep more money in your pocket without requiring a drastic lifestyle change.
WalletHub, an online financial services site, compared all 50 states on indicators of retirement friendliness. The analysis ranked New Jersey second to last -- ahead of only Kentucky -- in terms of affordability, health-related factors and overall quality of life. Not surprisingly, Florida ranked No. 1 followed, by Colorado, South Dakota and Iowa. Virginia rounded out the top five.
Among the main reasons NJ rated so low? Taxes and the high cost of living, naturally.
"New Jersey ranked particularly low in many metrics," said WalletHub analyst, Jill Gonzalez. "For instance, in Tax-Friendliness on Estate or Inheritance Tax, it ranked 49th, being one of the few states that taxes both."
In Share of Adults Aged 65 and Older Who Could Not Afford a Doctor Visit, NJ ranked 48th at more than 7 percent, and in Quality of Public Hospitals, the state ranked 45th, with only 51 percent of patients giving their hospital a rating of 9 or 10.
'Affordability' is composed of the following metrics:
- Adjusted Cost of Living;
- General Tax-Friendliness;
- Tax-Friendliness on Pensions & Social Security Income;
- Tax-Friendliness on Estate or Inheritance Tax; Annual Cost of In-Home Services;
- Annual Cost of Adult Day Health Care; and
- Share of Adults Aged 65 and Older Who Could Not Afford a Doctor Visit.
So what could the Garden State do to retain its retirees?
"Implementing retirement-friendly tax policies could certainly be a positive first step," Gonzalez suggested. "improving the quality and affordability of health care facilities and services to go along with the current high tax rates would also greatly improve New Jersey's ranking."
The data used for this report was collected from mostly government sources, such as the U.S. Census Bureau, the Council for Community and Economic Research, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Retirement Living Information Center, and others.
To review the list of all 50 states in the WalletHub study, click here.
Almost 30 percent of non-retired adults haven’t saved any money for their golden years. In addition to when you want to retire, a good question to ask is where. Even in the most affordable areas of the U.S., most retirees cannot rely solely on Social Security, which replaces only about 40 percent of the average worker’s earnings.